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Lawton Oklahoma Personal Injury Law Blog

High rate of misdiagnosis among multiple sclerosis patients

Treatment advances may have improved outcomes for Oklahoma patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, but a 2017 survey found that many still have a trouble wading through multiple false diagnoses and finding doctors who understand the disease. The three-month survey, which was taken by patients online, identified common symptoms and problems experienced in the community.

Misdiagnosis was listed by 42 percent of the survey respondents. They were most commonly diagnosed with and treated for chronic fatigue, depression and fibromyalgia. Part of the problem causing such a high rate of misdiagnosesis that neurological symptoms can be difficult to track with biological markers. For instance, some of the most common symptoms reported were fatigue, numbness, brain fog and muscle weakness.

Virtual second opinion services could help patients

When Oklahoma patients seek treatment for their medical problems, they could face the risk of experiencing diagnostic errors. Even if the errors end up not being harmful, they can be costly and lead to unnecessary treatments. One way to reduce the rate of diagnostic errors is to get second opinions.

However, getting a second opinion can be difficult. As a workaround, some health insurance companies and employers are partnering with companies that utilize second-opinion services. Essentially, a physician virtually meets with patients to collect all of the relevant documentation and test results. The physician then puts together a case summary. The case summary and documentation can then be sent to different specialists depending on their expertise.

Moles and the diagnosis of melanoma

Oklahoma residents who are fair-skinned, who have a family history of melanoma or a history of severe sunburn in childhood, or who are regularly exposed to the sun might have a higher risk of developing melanoma. While only 1 percent of all skin cancers diagnosed are melanoma, the American Cancer Society reports that most deaths from skin cancer are the result of that particular type.

Early diagnosis is a critical element in surviving melanoma. The survival rate for someone who is diagnosed early is 94 to 100 percent. However, if the melanoma spreads, the rate is only 20 percent.

Employer liability for murder outside the workplace

Oklahoma companies may be held liable for the negligent acts of their employees under some circumstances. Typically, employers are not held liable for acts by their employees that occur outside of the work environment. However, they could be held liable for acts that are "reasonably foreseeable" even if the harmful acts occur away from the workplace.

In a case that reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Home Depot was denied an appeal of a decision involving the murder of one of its employees committed by a manager who had been reported for his harassment of female employees in the past. The company argued that it should not be held liable because the crime was committed off property. However, the court found that the company had an affirmative duty in its hiring and supervision practices to prevent potential harm to other employees.

PSTD resulting from car crashes

When Oklahoma residents in a severe car accident, they may suffer grievous injuries or have someone that they love die. In these situations, along with physical harm, people may also end up suffering mental harm and develop a condition like post traumatic stress disorder.

There are some situations where people may be able to successfully collect compensation following an accident for PSTD. However, they will have to prove a variety of things, and even then, it may not be successful. The first step is for them to show that a qualified doctor has diagnosed them with this condition. However, that is not usually sufficient by itself.

Large truck crashes increase in 2015

Oklahoma residents might have been more likely to be involved in a fatal accident involving a large truck in 2015 compared to 2014. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that the 4,050 large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes in 2015 represented an 8 percent increase over the previous year. A "large truck" is defined as a vehicle that weighed more than 10,000 pounds.

Large trucks were involved in about 415,000 accidents that were police-reported. Of those, around 1 percent were fatal while about 20 percent left someone injured. More than half of fatal crashes were two-vehicle. Around 1 in 5 fatal crashes involved a truck and either a pedestrian, a cyclist or a person on another non-motorized vehicle.

How the brain's membranes affect a TBI

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can significantly impact a person's quality of life. People in Oklahoma who sustain TBIs may be interested to know that the brain actually has a natural suspension system that helps to lower the effects of major impacts.

There are membranes surrounding the brain that have a vital role in shock absorption and in preventing the damaging effects of a head impact. According to one researcher, the membranes essentially have the same function as a vehicle's suspension. Research conducted by engineers at Washington University in St. Louis assessed the degree of protection the membrane layers provide.

Identifying and preventing a misdiagnosis

While modern medicine makes it possible to treat many diseases that were once fatal, diagnosing patients still involves some guesswork. Oklahoma residents might like to know about misdiagnoses and why they occur.

Diagnostic errors fall into three categories. The first is a completely incorrect diagnosis, which happens when a physician wrongly labels a patient's condition. There are also delayed judgments where patients are diagnosed later than they should be, which gives health problems time to worsen. Finally, a diagnosis can be correct but explained improperly to a patient.

Not all people with high blood pressure need treatment

A study completed at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre indicates that about a fifth of individuals treated for hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, actually do not require the treatment. The reason for this is that many Oklahoma residents do not actually have the problem, which is that blood exerts too much pressure on artery walls.

People are considered to have hypertension when their systolic pressure, or top number, is at least 140 mmHg and their diastolic pressure, the bottom number, is at least 90 mmHG. The problem is that many doctors are still using manual devices to measure blood pressure, and this is leading to inaccurate readings.

Cargo securement to be focus of inspection blitz

Commercial truck drivers from Oklahoma and drivers from throughout the country may be subject to a North American Standard Level I inspection during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's International Roadcheck inspection blitz. The inspection blitz will occur June 6-8.

Although the inspection will have a special emphasis on cargo securement, this is also a part of Level I inspections. The extra focus is intended to reinforce the importance of cargo securement.

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